Throughout the years, it’s likely that you’ve picked up some beauty wisdom here and there, be it from your grandmother or your favorite magazine. These valuable resources have probably taught you that there’s a general order of operations to follow in your cleaning and makeup routine. The better you adhere to it, the more likely you are to see healthy skin.
I'm back in the kitchen with a summery, refreshing DIY tonic for your skin. All you need is a handful or two of kale, 1/2 cup of coconut water (not from concentrate), a banana and some honey. Let me tell you a little about kale and coconut water that you might not already know:
Kale is currently the trendiest green leafy vegetable around, and for good reason. It is packed with important vitamins, like A and K. Vitamin A reduces wrinkles and helps the skin repair itself, while vitamin K helps with dark circles (D.E. Eye Serum coming up, but in the meantime...) Kale is also full of lutein, a powerful carotenoid which helps improve skin elasticity and hydrate the skin. This of-the-moment veggie is also great for tightening skin, treating acne, and delivering a luminous complexion.
They say coconut water is identical to human blood plasma. Unreal right? It's also rumored to be more hydrating than water, and it's a wonderful skin tonic. Hawaiians call it “Noelani” – which means “Dew from the Heavens”. When the skin looks dry and dull, a splash of coconut water will instantly rehydrate the skin to and give it a glow. Using it regularly will help prevent breakouts because it removes greasiness. Coconut water has cytokinins which prevent the skin from pre-mature wrinkles and aging. It has all types of anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties which can heal and soothe the skin.
add a little banana and honey....and you're on your way. Here's how to pull it all together:
I use the NutriBullet that you can get online or at a drugstore. I love it because it takes up so little space and is so easy to clean.
2 handfuls of kale
1/4-1/2 cup fresh coconut water (not from concentrate)
1/2 of a banana
2 tbsp honey
Place it all into your little blender or NutriBullet and add more liquid or banana as needed to make it the consistency you like. I like it with enough banana to make it stick.
Pour a little in to your hands and apply to face and neck. Do this over a sink, as it's very messy. Allow to dry completely and rinse off with lukewarm water. Apply some Virgin Marula and some Umbra if you're headed out. You'll want to protect your glowing skin. All of my DIYs work with the full Drunk Elephant product line. To shop it, go here.
You will definitely have some of this mask left over, so store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
I want to tell you about the hazards lurking in most sun protection products on the market...and in your cabinet. Surprising when you learn that the ingredients you are diligently using to protect yourself from the sun's damage, could actually be hurting you more than the sun. When you consider that the harmful UVA rays can get you, even through glass and clouds, you realize that it's imperative that you wear a good, healthy sunscreen every day. Not to mention...it's the number one preventative measure against skin aging. Here's a quick cheat sheet on which ingredients to always avoid. And, at the bottom, which to embrace.
Oxybenzone: This penetration enhancer (i.e., chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin) undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays. When oxybenzone is absorbed by your skin, it can cause an eczema-like allergic reaction that can spread beyond the exposed area and last long after you're out of the sun. Experts also suspect that oxybenzone disrupts hormones (i.e., mimics, blocks, and alters hormone levels) which can throw off your endocrine system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 97 percent of Americans have this chemical circulating in our bodies, as it can accumulate more quickly than our bodies can get rid of it.
Octinoxate: One of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens with SPF, octinoxate is readily absorbed by our skin and helps other ingredients to be absorbed more readily. While allergic reactions from octinoxate aren't common, hormone disruption is: the chemical's effects on estrogen can be harmful for humans and wildlife, too, should they come into contact with the chemical once it gets into water. Though SPF products are designed to protect skin from sun-induced aging, octinoxate may actually be a culprit for premature aging, as it produces menacing free radicals that can damage skin and cells.
Avobenzone: Easily absorbed through the epidermis and a chemical that absorbs ultraviolet radiation energy. Since it cannot destroy this energy, it has to convert the light energy into chemical energy, which is normally released as free radicals. In sunlight, Avobenzone degrades and becomes ineffective within about 1 hour.
Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate): Just like the vitamin A we eat, retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant. As an ingredient in sunscreen, it's function is to improve the product's performance against the aging effects of UV exposure, However, certain forms of vitamin A found in sun protection products—namely retinyl palmitate, a combination of retinol (vitamin A) and palmitic acid, an ingredient found in tropical plants such as palm and coconut—can be cause for concern. When exposed to the sun's UV rays, retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer. In fact, FDA studies have shown that retinyl palimitate may speed the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to skin before sun exposure, so steer clear of skin sun products that harbor the stuff.
Homosalate: This UV-absorbing sunscreen ingredient helps sunscreen to penetrate your skin. Once the ingredient has been absorbed, homosalate accumulates in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it, becomes toxic and disrupts our hormones.
Octocrylene: When this chemical is exposed to UV light, it absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations. It is readily absorbed by your skin and may accumulate within your body in measurable amounts. Plus, it can be toxic to the environment.
Paraben Preservatives: Associated with both acute and chronic side effects, parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-) can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. While butylparaben was reported to be non-carcinogenic in rats and mice, but it has been previously suspected that parabens and other chemicals in underarm cosmetics may contribute to the rising incidence of breast cancer.
Paba (para-aminobenzoic acid): Though rarely used now in sunscreens, be aware of products that contain the ingredient. Forty percent of the population is sensitive to it, experiencing red, itchy skin.
Fragrance and/or Essential Oils: mostly synthetic ingredients can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes. Our skin perceives essential oils to be complex chemical components. Over time, essential oils will cumulatively and imperceptibly cause skin sensitization and irritation. It's no wonder everyone has "sensitive skin" these days.
Nanoparticles: Physical sunblocks, made with the minerals titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, stay on skin's surface, reflecting UV rays. However, to make them more aesthetically appealing and less opaque, some newer products use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide reduced to microscopic nanoparticles. A nanometer (nm) is about a billionth of a meter-a unit so small that a single human hair is about 80,000 nm in diameter. The nanoparticles are unpredictable - they could penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream, where they may damage cells.
Non-Pore Clogging Moisturizers
And it just so happens, ours fits the bill. Shop it now:
PS - Shop the entire Drunk Elephant collection here!
I've been reading about this Ayurvedic technique all over the place. I couldn't resist anymore so right now, my mouth is full of unrefined coconut oil. You can use sesame oil too, just make sure that whatever you use, it's unrefined and organic. Hopefully, by the time I'm done writing this post, I'll be done with the "pulling" too. They tell you to start with a tablespoon, which can double in size as it draws out the toxins and bacteria from your mouth. This is about to get interesting and my mouth is already tired.
You actually pull the oil through your teeth and swish it all around for TWENTY minutes. You should not get the oil in your throat, as you don't want the toxins to spread around...you want the toxins to end up in your trash can. Here is a list of reported benefits associated with oil pulling:
I just finished and the oil does in fact get white and thick as you swish it around in your mouth. I had read that it would. My mouth feels really clean and fresh for sure, but I'm not convinced that that's not a result of flossing and brushing right after I spit everything out. I'm going to do this daily for the next two weeks. If you have any experience with this old practice, please share! I'm sure it can't hurt, but is it worth spending TWENTY minutes every morning? That's the question. Reading that it's a non-toxic way to benefit your skin (among other things) is enough to make me very curious! I'll keep you posted.
Mother's Day is on its way and Drunk Elephant is the perfect gift for any Mom...and I know because I'm a Mom!
I hope this helps make shopping for the Mom in your life a little easier this year.
p.s. Beginning tomorrow morning, really early....use promo code "ilovemymom" at checkout for 15% off all products! (Offer valid May 1st and 2nd only.)
It could be a lot of things, but my guess is makeup. Foundation, mineral powder, concealer...all designed to cover up various skin issues and conditions, but is it a vicious cycle? Does the very use of makeup create a dependency? I was lucky because my mother never wore makeup, so I just grew up not thinking about it or wanting to use it. It’s possible that it ended up being a really good thing for my skin.
I was very inspired by the question: “Is makeup at the root of some of our skin ailments?” There are differing views on this and it’s been widely debated. I personally believe that wearing makeup on a daily basis is a problem and so one of the goals for the D.E. line was to enable people to go without and let their skin breathe and heal. So, what exactly does it take to restore skin health? I researched until I came up with a list of things I think we must have in our daily routine. Here is my list: